Aug 12 2014
Water-The Third Rail Part XXVI Stupid is as stupid does
The title of this blog does not refer to the SDCWA. It is aimed at those who authored the water bond.
Dennis Cushman said in today’s UT San Diego (8/12/14), “……the proposed bond
would allow the region TO COMPETE for $700 million in funds for recycling
projects, which are key to making the San Diego region more self-sufficient.
The authority (San Diego County Water Authority) is concerned, however, that
some of that money could be taken away by groundwater projects in the San
Let’s unpack what Cushman said. First, while $700 million is a lot of money,
it does not come close to the nearly three billion dollars it will take to
do indirect potable recycling by cleaning up the effluent from the Pt. Loma
WWTP and piping it to the San Vicente Reservoir. Second, the San Diego area
has virtually no aquifers, so what is he talking about? Third, even if the
water bond passes, San Diego has to compete for that $700 million, so there
is no guarantee the San Diego region will see a dime of it.
In “Brown Pitches $7B Water Bond AS Deadline Nears”, $2.5 Billion is
designated for storage projects all over the state. Why? We cannot store
water if there is no water to store. As communities upstream from San Diego,
in the Delta and elsewhere, continue to dump their sewage into our incoming
water supply, why are we not talking about potable recycling? It is
senseless to treat water to drinking water standards, use it once and then
dump it into the rivers and stream to be treated again, used once and
eventually dumped into the ocean.
If the legislation for the water bond issue ever gets out of Sacramento,
California voters will be subjected to a massive PR campaign that will
basically say “If you don’t vote for this bond issue, you are voting against
God, Love and Motherhood. Never mind that it will do little to provide new
water sources. $700 million for recycling projects? That is ten percent of
the total bond issue, and the only “new water” to be financed, if it is
spent properly. Ninety percent ($6.3 billion) does little more than
rearrange the deck chairs. Although it seems counter-intuitive, this blog
will do all it can to oppose the bond issue.
When the wrong questions are asked, all of the conventional wisdom is
guaranteed to come up with the wrong answers. The right question, which by
the way many communities outside of California have moved on past, is “where
do we get new water, not dependent upon annual precipitation?”
California water policy leaders are like that kid we all knew in grade
school who never seemed to quite “get it”, and was chastised by the teacher
for leaning across the aisle to copy someone’s test paper. Other states,
other nations know (and are reacting) to the undeniable, stark facts about
the need to prevent socio-economic disaster by planning and implementing
safe, reliable water supplies, independent of Mother Nature’s whims.
Okay, give me an example you say. Easy. Drive 100 miles north to Orange
County. Oh, but they have an aquifer to use for IPR. No excuse. We have San
Vicente Reservoir. Same process. Want to try again?
Maybe it is time to lean across the aisle and copy that smart kid’s answers,
just so the teacher doesn’t catch on.
About Alumni at the University of Montana